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[an error occurred while processing this directive] Saturday, 31 March, 2001, 11:53 GMT 12:53 UK
Scottish transfer dealings
Owen Coyle returns to his former club, Airdrie
Owen Coyle returns to his former club, Airdrie
Ian McCall led the way as the Scottish transfer deadline approached, making six signings in a desperate bid to form a team capable of saving Airdrieonians from relegation from Division One.

McCall fixed up former Airdrie striker Owen Coyle from Dunfermline Athletic, former St Johnstone and Hamilton Academical goalkeeper Allan Ferguson and experienced defender Fraser Wishart from Clydebank late on Friday.

That was after earlier in the day signing Spanish goalkeeper Ramiro Gonsalez, former Partick Thistle midfield wide-man Derek McWilliams and former Aberdeen and Hibernian winger Ian Cameron, who had also been with Partick Thistle.

McCall said: "I set out to bring in experienced players to help us in our fight.

Running reserve team

"Owen is coming here primarily as a player but will also be coaching.

"He has been signed to the end of the season, but as long as we can agree a further contract, we want to fix him up with a two-year deal.

Fraser Wishart teams up again with McCall
Fraser Wishart teams up again with McCall
"As we look to the future, we will be running a reserve team next season - there was not one this time - and Owen and someone else will be in charge of that.

"That will get his foot in the door as a coach, although, I repeat, he is coming here principally as a player."

Coyle had been on loan with Ross County but departed Dunfermline for good as fellow striker David Graham left the Pars for Torquay United.

Airdrie's First Division relegation rivals, Raith Rovers, were still hoping to sign striker Andy Smith from Kilmarnock by the Saturday evening deadline.

Clearing up

Rovers assistant manager Kenny Black said: "It is not difficult to see that much of our problem has been caused through not being able to score.

"We have been trying for Andy at various times throughout the season and we are hopeful that we will get him this time.

"Andy is just clearing up one or two points with Kilmarnock."

Other transfers to go through by Friday evening were:

Division One

Alloa Athletic - 26-year-old defender Allan McManus from Livingston after he impressed as a trialist in midweek.

Clyde - 19-year-old defender Unal Mehmet from Wimbledon until the end of the season.

Ross County - striker Martin Prest, previously with Airdrie.

Division Two

Queen of the South - 21-year-old former Middlesbrough midfielder Steven Walklate from Darlington; goalkeeper Jamie Campbell from Clydebank.

Stenhousemuir - 25-year-old midfielder James Henry from Clyde.

Division Three

Dumbarton - 20-year-old midfielder Craig Lynes from East Stirlingshire for 8000.

East Stirlingshire - 21-year-old midfielder Sean McAuley from Clyde.

Elgin City - 18-year-old defensive midfielder David Hind from Inverness Caledonian Thistle.

Hamilton Accies - 19-year-old midfielder Ross Jeffrey from Hibernian until the end of the season.

Montrose - defender Richard Fox from Stenhousemuir.

Arbroath manager John Brownlie was also aiming to bring in 19-year-old defender David McInally from Raith following the loss of Andy Webster to Hearts.

Showed an interest

Division Two promotion hopefuls Stranraer were expected to complete the signing of 23-year-old defender Neil McGowan from Oxford United.

McGowan was formerly with Albion Rovers when managaer Billy McLaren was in charge at Cliftonhill.

McManus (top) had been training with Airdrie
McManus (top) had been training with Airdrie
Ambitious Division Three promotion-chasers Hamilton have failed in a bid to sign Gerry Britton from Livingston as the First division leaders want to hold on to the veteran striker as cover.

Accies manager Ally Dawson said: "I have tried to get Gerry on a number of occassions during the season and he showed an interest in coming to us.

"But each time luck was against us as someone at Livingston would get injured and Gerry was back in the first-team squad."

While East Stirlingshire added Sean McAulay from Clyde, there was still no sign of a definite move for striker Steve Hislop, who has been training all week with Motherwell.

Falkirk midfielder Mark Kerr is due to travel south on Sunday for a four-day trial with Leeds United.

See also:

30 Mar 01 |  Scot Prem
SPL weekend preview
31 Mar 01 |  Scot Div 1
First Division preview
30 Mar 01 |  Scot Div 2
Second Division preview
30 Mar 01 |  Scot Div 3
Third Division preview
Links to more Scotland stories are at the foot of the page.


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